Eloping in Alberta offers couples the freedom and flexibility to create a personalized and intimate wedding experience, the ability to save money on traditional wedding costs and the opportunity to focus on celebrating your love and commitment to each other.
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta boasts a stunning array of natural beauty, from its magnificent mountains and turquoise lakes to its boreal forests and hoodoos. Whether you dream of exchanging vows in the great outdoors, in the city or in a cozy cabin nestled in the wilderness, Alberta is a fabulous destination for eloping.
Choose your Season
When it comes to choosing the season for eloping in Alberta, any of them are good choices. Each season offers its own unique beauty and charm,. Winter is beautiful with the snow-capped peaks and frost covered trees. Crisp mountain air and wildflowers of spring, to the warm sunshine and long days of summer or the red and golden colours of fall. Whether you prefer a snowy landscape or a warm summer breeze, Alberta has something for every couple. Consider what type of scenery and activities you would like to enjoy on your elopement, and choose the season that best fits your vision.
City, Mountains or Country
Eloping in the Rockies offers couples a truly magical and unforgettable wedding experience. The mountains offer endless opportunities for outdoor ceremonies, places like Quarry Lake, Stewart Creek in Canmore, Lake Louise, the meadow at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Cascade Gardens in Banff or Silvertip. You could also consider one of the many fabulous mountain venues with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape like the Emerald Lake Lodge, the Boundary Ranch in Kananaskis or one of the many fabulous hotels that Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise have to offer. The Rockies are the perfect location for an elopement that is both romantic and adventurous.
Eloping in the city offers couples a more urban and cosmopolitan setting for their wedding. Calgary offers a wide range of venues for an elopement, from modern and sleek hotel ballrooms to intimate and chic restaurants. Golf & Country Clubs and unique venues like the Calgary Zoo, Lougheed House, Heritage Park, Azuridge and many others. Calgary also boasts numerous beautiful parks that are perfect for outdoor ceremonies, such as Baker Park, Confederation Park,Fish Creek Park and Reader Rock Garden to name just a few. Whether you prefer a formal and sophisticated wedding or a laid-back celebration, the city provides endless opportunities for an elopement that is unique.
Eloping in the country offers couples a peaceful and serene setting for their wedding. Alberta’s countryside is dotted with charming small towns and rural communities, each with its own character and flavour. There are venues such as the Rocking R Guest Ranch and Coulee Creek Farms that are located just outside the city and offer that country, rustic style. The country offers loads of opportunities for outdoor ceremonies, from rolling hills and fields of wildflowers to forests and lakes.
By choosing an elopement you may not need too many vendors, but finding the right people is key to making your dream wedding a reality. Eloping in Alberta you will likely still be looking for a photographer, florist, hair/make-up and transportation. Be sure to research and compare different vendors,. I have curated a list here to help narrow down your choices. These are people I have worked with in the past, have provided exceptional service and are great at what they do.
To elope legally in Alberta you need these 4 things:
In order to legally marry in Alberta, you will need to obtain a marriage license. This document verifies that you meet the legal requirements for marriage and allows you to have a legally recognized ceremony. One of the benefits of getting married in Alberta is that you can apply for a marriage license up to three months in advance, and there is no waiting period once the license is issued, so you can get married on the same day that the license is issued. Additionally, there are no residency or citizenship requirements for getting married in Alberta, which means that couples from anywhere in the world are able to have a legal ceremony in the province.
A marriage commissioner is a person appointed by the Alberta government to perform civil marriage ceremonies in the community in which they reside. As of 2020, it is also possible for a friend or family member to apply to serve as a temporary marriage commissioner in Alberta, as long as they are a Canadian citizen.
In order for your marriage to be legally recognized in Alberta, two witnesses must be present at your ceremony and sign your marriage license. The requirements for your witnesses are as follows: they must be 18 years of age or older, not cognitively impaired, fluent in the language in which the marriage is being performed (a translator can be used if necessary), and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
National and provincial parks are some of the most popular locations for elopements in Alberta. If you plan to hold your ceremony in one of these parks, it is important to note that you may need to purchase a ceremony permit. The cost of these permits can vary depending on the location, ranging from $100 to $500 or more. It is important to obtain the necessary permit, as failing to do so can result in significant fines
If you are planning to travel to Alberta from another country for your elopement, it is important to check the current travel laws of your home country. Some countries may require you to obtain approval to travel to certain destinations. However, eloping in Alberta not only offers stunning natural beauty, but it is also relatively easy to plan. While the various documents and fees associated with obtaining a marriage license and ceremony permit may seem daunting at first, they are straightforward and generally more affordable than hosting a traditional wedding.
As the date of your elopement approaches, it is important to start considering your packing and planning needs. Depending on the season and the specific activities you have planned, you may need to bring different items. For example, a winter elopement might require extra layers, waterproof boots, hand warmers, umbrellas, blankets and touch up makeup.
It is also a good idea to download an offline map and directions to any locations you will be visiting, and to make a list of any must-see or must-do activities, sights, or restaurants you want to experience. Having a list of your vendors and their contact numbers might also come in handy. By being prepared and organized, you can ensure that your elopement is a smooth and enjoyable experience.
It is always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of unexpected circumstances, especially when eloping in the mountains where weather can be unpredictable. Factors such as road closures, inclement weather, or full parking lots at popular locations can throw a wrench in your plans. To help ensure the smooth execution of your elopement, be sure to communicate with your vendors about their own backup plans, and consider what alternative arrangements you might need to make in case of unforeseen issues.
How Can I help
- I offer comprehensive planning assistance and guidance to help you navigate the elopement process. I am more than just a photographer – I want to be with you every step of the way to ensure that your elopement is a success, and am happy to help wherever needed.
- I am knowledgeable about several areas of Alberta, including Canmore, Kananaskis, Bragg Creek, Banff, Lake Louise, Crowsnest Pass, Waterton, Drumheller and of course Calgary. I am also open to exploring new locations and scouting out new spots for you.
- I can offer many ideas for venues in the mountains, Calgary and surrounding areas.
- I will help create a detailed timeline and itinerary for your elopement, including backup plans in case of unexpected events such as inclement weather or road closures.
- I am always available to answer any questions you may have.
- I have a special elopement package with reduced pricing.
- With 19 years of experience as a wedding photographer in and around Calgary, I have a wealth of knowledge and advice to share.
- I am happy to provide you with ideas for activities and must-see things in the area to help you make the most of your elopement experience.